On July 20, 2009 Senator Bernie Sanders wrote to Greg Engles CEO of Dean Foods, inviting Engles to come to Vermont to explain to Vermont farmers why they going broke while Dean Foods has raked in record profits.
Greg Engles responded to Bernie claiming the Federal government determined the price of farm milk. Engles said, “As you know, dairy processors do not set the price of milk paid to dairy farmers.”
“The truth is that the USDA docs not "primarily" set the price for milk and other dairy products. What it does, through the Federal Milk Marketing Orders, is to set the minimum price that dairy farmers can receive, not the maximum. In fact, the price that dairy farmers in Vermont are receiving today is being significantly determined by Dean Foods and other processors. This is especially true when Dean Foods controls some 70 percent of the fluid milk market in New England. To argue that the USDA sets milk prices for farmers would be analogous to arguing that because the federal government establishes a minimum wage for workers, the Department of Labor determines all wages in America. That is obviously not the case.”